Sunday, February 22, 2015

Needs of the Service: Exhibit A

After basking in the light of my French exam success for a couple of days, the clouds of the future started rolling in.

I received an email from my career development officer that given how early I had finished French training, she was going to have the rest of my training schedule moved up and move my departure date up by two months.


Wait... WHAT?

I didn't even know that was possible! After getting over my initial shock, I tried to decide if I was pleased or not. On one hand, I was now going to get to be at post for the presidential election and be present for some pretty significant Burundian history. Also, I've been in this job for about seven months without actually doing the real job yet - I'm eager to start doing some diplomacy. On the other hand, I have a pretty great thing going with a lovely lady here in DC, I had plans to visit family and friends in California, and moving to Africa two months early can trash the best-laid plans.

Hmm.

Talking it over with my career development officer clarified things. My training is really expensive and keeping me around in DC unnecessarily doesn't look like a great use of taxpayer money. That's right taxpayers, you have bureaucrats on your side! In addition, the person I'm replacing was leaving in mid-May and it would be really good if I could overlap with her at post for a bit to not have any gaps. In summary, the needs of the service trumps convenience on my part, and to tell you the truth, I am more than ok with that because that's what I signed up for and that's part of the allure and adventure of the job.

What does that mean for friends and family? I'm probably still going to get out to California before I leave, but adjust your calendars because Bryan begins a new adventure in the Great Rift Valley in early May!